About Soapbox

Our mission at Soapbox Cincinnati is to Connect PEOPLE to PLACE.

IMG publications leverage the power of solutions-based + narrative storytelling in partnership with community-based leadership coalitions to increase attachment to place – a foundational element to inclusive economic growth – while delivering community response to local media contraction.

Get the Soapbox newsletter in your inbox each week by clicking on "Subscribe" above in the right hand corner of the page. We'll let you know, via email, when new stories are available. It's easy and free.

Join our Soapbox community on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram. Click on the icons at the top of the page to get connected.

Soapbox Cincinnati, founded in 2008, is published by Issue Media Group, whose publications are supported by underwriting and partnerships with local businesses, civic institutions, community funds, nonprofits and foundations that support and expand our coverage of community and economic development, social innovation, city building and place making. Learn more about our underwriting policy here.

We want to hear about your thoughts and ideas for Soapbox; share them via email here.

A brief overview of the Soapbox crew:

Soapbox Managing Editor: Jessica Esemplare

Jessica Esemplare is a graduate of Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. Shortly after completing her degree in magazine journalism, she began covering local and regional topics at The Cincinnati Herald and, later, as an editor at Ohio Magazine. Her Ohio-based writing has also been featured in U.S. News and World Report. No one is more surprised by this than her family and friends, who watched her reluctantly leave her hometown in New Jersey more than 20 years ago. Much to their surprise (and hers), she has found her village in Pleasant Ridge, where she resides with her husband, two daughters, and a community of awesome neighbors.

Patrice Watson

As Issue Media Group publisher for Soapbox Cincinnati, NKY thrives, and Hub Springfield, Patrice Watson manages revenue and audience development working with multiple teams, coalitions, advisories and underwriters to implement projects and achieve goals. In 2010, she launched Raise Your Share consulting for digital and social media to assist nonprofits and small businesses to implement new media to grow revenue and audience. Patrice joined IMG in 2016. Her offline career includes Emmis Communications publisher at Cincinnati Magazine and 25 years in radio sales and management for Clear Channel, Jacor Communications, American Media/DKM and Taft. Patrice lives in North Avondale. Follow her on Twitter @patricewatson10.

Chief Advocate & Instigator: Eric Avner

Eric is the Vice President and Senior Program Manager — Community Development for the Carol Ann & Ralph V. Haile, Jr. Foundation. From 2014-2019, Avner ran People's Liberty which focused on changing Cincinnati by uncovering and investing in great people. He was associate director of the Cincinnati Business Committee, that venerable group of CEOs representing Cincinnati's 30 largest employers. And prior to that, while guiding Newport's downtown revitalization, he led the effort to create the Purple People Bridge. Most importantly, Eric spent 16 months meeting, discussing, planning and plotting to get Soapbox Media launched back in 2008. Now, when he and his bowtie aren't out instigating for some way to grow the entrepreneurial ecosystem, Eric keeps busy serving on local and regional boards including Cincinnati Development Fund, Catalytic Development Fund of Northern Kentucky, ArtWorks Cincinnati, and Philanthropy Ohio, and sits on the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland’s Community Advisory Committee. A boomerang Cincinnatian (he lived here in the late '70s, left, and returned to town in 1996), Eric also takes pride in his dual US/Canadian citizenship ... eh. Eric and his wife reside in bucolic Walnut Hills after several years in a downtown loft.


Soapbox is published by Detroit-based Issue Media Group.

Here are other Issue Media Group city and regional publications across our network:

plus custom publication: Driven Detroit—The region leading the world in mobility
Signup for Email Alerts